Barclays Asia Trophy Preview

The fifth bi-annual Barclays Asia Trophy sees Sunderland debut as their pre-season preparations hit fifth gear after a gruelling time in Italy. Competing alongside Manchester City, Hong Kong’s most successful side South China and former winners Tottenham Hotspur – we can finally get excited about actual football again! [More]

And I-E-I

Just six months after arriving on Wearside, Alfie N’Diaye is seemingly set to move back to Turkey as Süper Lig’s Eskişehirspor close in on the central midfielder. Paolo Di Canio was spoilt for choice last season in centre midfield, albeit a choice between particularly average performing players. [More]

Giaccher-REALLY?!

Another addition to the Italian invasion is the 28 year old midfielder Emanuele Giaccherini, who arrives at Sunderland from Italian giants Juventus. Coming from the back of an impressive showing at this summer’s Confederations Cup, the signing of a pint-sized, technically gifted Italian international has excited most sections of the Sunderland faithful... [More]

Jack Comeback

With Jack Colback rejecting a new contract and seemingly seeking an exit, just how important is he in Paolo Di Canio’s squad? Colback is currently the longest serving player at Sunderland, and when you factor in his youth career – that’s thirteen years he has been here. Canny stint. His development over that time has always been admirable if not spectacular. Until the 2011-12 season his contribution to the first team was sporadical but since then he has commanded a regular place in the side achieving nearly 60 starts over the last two campaigns. That would be appearances pretty much everywhere on the pitch, having nearly as many elsewhere as in his favoured central midfield position. [More]

Mannone Versus Westwood

I really like lower league football. Not that I would want to see us play it again, of course – despite the memories of one strangely enjoyable 1987-88 season in Division 3. I go and watch it in the flesh when I can though I travel a lot with work. Taking in real football at somewhere like Macclesfield... [More]

Jozy Rancher

It’s been 12 years since Claudio Reyna played for Sunderland AFC and he was the last American to play first team football for the club. There was Stuart Holden, but let’s not get in to that. After weeks of speculation and a lot of waiting, the Black Cats announced that USA International Jozy Altidore had signed a four-year contract and flew straight to join the rest of the squad in Italy. [More]